How to join a mesh thats already the same object?

For one of my classes we have to make a 3D model and I am doing “cat got your tongue”. I am sculpting a cat with a large human tongue in its arms I guess? (Just ignore how weird this is lol) Anyways, I started to sculpt the tongue from one of the paws so it can be on top of it and I want it to be ‘touching’ the body but they won’t join and I think it will be an issue when we 3D print it. Here’s a pic:

I wanted to ask how to join them because the gap bothers me and I think it will show up when printed. Most things I have seen around the internet are for if they are two separate objects, but these are not. Thanks so much and I apologize if this specific instance has been asked about before.

It might not be a problem for getting it to print, but that depends on how you print it and the slicer you’re using.

In that case you could sculpt it as intersecting surfaces. Although easier to smooth it if they don’t. You could try intersect (knife), set it to self-intersect mode, remove the cut parts that were left inside, and then remove doubles. Check the result by selecting non-manifold. Selecting the parts is easier with select linked.

A more tedious way that comes to mind is to make two separate objects that are then recombined, by selecting one part, separate to its own object, fill the holes, extrude or move the connecting parts to make them clearly intersect, and then boolean union.